All across the U.S., the most romantic day of the year is Valentine’s Day. It’s a day that celebrates the love between partners from all backgrounds, and it promotes love by encouraging people to pursue their budding interests in others.
What better day to get married?
Whether you’re planning your wedding to be on the holiday itself, or simply commemorating you and your valentine’s love any day of the year, there are many ways to accentuate your love with Valentine’s Day-inspired wedding day themes and decor. This guide will walk you through elements and details to help make your Valentine's Day wedding one for the ages.
To really nail your Valentine’s Day theme, it’s important to break that theme down into the particular elements that make it up. Valentine’s Day is associated with all things love and romance, but that doesn’t mean that Fabio is a Valentine’s Day symbol.
There’s a specific kind of romance that Valentine’s Day is meant to celebrate. Valentine’s Day is a celebration of love persevering, despite conditions that would bring it down. It’s named after Saint Valentine, who was persecuted because he chose to perform marriages for young people even though Roman Emperor Claudius II had prohibited young people from being wed.
That history has been watered down over time. But, what’s been preserved has led to traditions celebrating the intimacy of romantic relationships:
Let’s take a look at how you can leverage these for your wedding.
Valentine’s Day has a well-established tradition of particular colors. When you think of Valentine’s Day, a palette made up of reds and pinks comes to mind. And, while there are variations and alternatives to consider for your wedding colors, any Valentine’s Day wedding ceremony needs to prominently feature red hues. But, that isn’t a limitation.
There are many varieties and combinations to consider with red. For example, all Valentine’s Day-inspired palettes and schemes include some combination of:
And, although your decor must include some shades of reds or pinks to be true to Valentine’s Day, there are other colors to consider, as well. For instance, consider:
Other colors that complement red – A great way to get the most out of any color is to pair it with others that complement it or otherwise work well with it. The color theory offers some examples of pairings with red:
Neutrals to emphasize red – A great way to make one color the star of your decor is to mute all other colors, or to use a mostly achromatic (greyscale) color scheme with red as the only real color that pops:
A theme, like Sweethearts candies – The tiny, candy hearts with messages like “Will U B Mine” are a perfect encapsulation of what Valentine’s Day is all about. To reference them in your decor, consider using their colors:
All of these colors can be implemented in various ways throughout your entire celebration. Whether as part of the wedding party’s attire or displayed in the centerpieces, colors are a great way to channel Valentine’s Day.
In addition to colors, there are also symbols associated with Valentine's Day. Some of these are so iconic that they evoke it immediately—for instance, the Sweetheart candies mentioned above. Their namesake, the heart shape, is the most obvious symbol. But, it’s not the only one.
A great way to channel Valentine’s Day cheer for your wedding involves decorating with:
Hearts – The heart shape is the most iconic symbol related to Valentine’s Day. They are everywhere to be found on all decorations associated with the holiday. The candies are heart-shaped, as are the boxes that chocolates come in. For your wedding day, you can take a similar approach with:
Roses – Red roses are also an extremely romantic symbol. A customary gift on Valentine’s Day, roses bring together the beauty of the petals with the inherent danger of the stems. The end result is a representation of all sides of love in a flower. Consider using roses in different designs, including:
Kisses – Sometimes, subtlety is overrated. Kiss emblems, like images of puckered lips, are a staple of Valentine’s Day decor. For a kitschy, campy take on the holiday, you could consider implementing these same symbols into your wedding:
Cupid – Everyone’s favorite armed angel, Cupid is a symbol of love at first sight. He (and his arrows) make his way into all manners of Valentine’s Day decorations. So, consider these decorations for your party:
All of these shapes and symbols will help your wedding reception and/or ceremony give off the look and feel of Valentine’s Day. The more you lean into the concept, the closer you’ll get to the sweet romance that people expect on February 14th.
But, for a more subtle approach, consider:
Finally, there are certain textures and fabrics that we associate with Valentine’s Day. Through associations to luxury and physical intimacy, these fabrics make excellent allusions to the most sensual holiday of the year.
Consider featuring, or at least including, these textiles into your wedding day decor:
Silk – A beautiful, natural fabric that’s been used for thousands of years. Silk’s natural softness and sheen make it ideal for uses as diverse as formalwear and intimates.
Satin – Satins often look very similar to silk, but they’re typically woven with synthetic fabrics, such as polyester, rather than pure, natural silk. Thus, they offer many of the same benefits of silk, but at a lower price point.
Lace – A beautiful fabric known for its delicate and intricate webbed patterns, lace is often featured prominently on gowns, and it can also play a big role in any other decorative textiles.
While these fabrics do evoke a sense of passion, they can be played down tastefully. There’s a good reason that many wedding dresses feature lace—it exudes sophistication. In the same manner, silks and satins are timeless emblems of grace.
However you feature these textiles, they’re sure to emphasize the romance in your love story.
Ultimately, the biggest elements of your Valentine’s Day wedding decor will be the ones that people notice first. Backdrops, centerpieces, and color schemes will all make an immediate impression. But, the elements that will make the longest-lasting impressions will be the smallest.
The little details you choose for the wedding venue make all the difference.
One of the time-honored traditions of Valentine’s Day is the practice of giving (and receiving) Valentine’s Day cards and gifts. Any wedding also involves a variety of paper goods, including invitations and menus.
These, and other wedding-day paper goods, offer the perfect opportunity to recreate the feeling of an authentic Valentine’s Day card. Consider repurposing actual Valentine’s Day cards, or motifs, for:
Also, there are some classic Valentine’s Day gifts that lend themselves well to anything from decorations to favors. Some include:
In addition to these, you might also consider channeling Valentine’s Day in your catering.
Too often, the culinary side of a wedding goes under-considered. This is especially true from a design point of view. The sustenance and libations you offer aren’t only about nutrition and enjoyment. Their tastes, smells, and looks are the perfect way to tie together all other elements of your overall design.
To really evoke the holiday in your menu, consider classic dishes that are typically prepared at home or offered in restaurants on Valentine’s Day:
Steak, especially flank and cuts for two (bonus points for heart-shaped medallions!)
Comfort carbs, preferably Italian or French: spaghetti carbonara or au gratin potatoes
A variety of wine, including red, rosé, or champagne, with strawberries
Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate! (Did we also mention... chocolate?)
Incorporating all these smaller decorative touches, together with the bigger elements detailed above, is the perfect way to nail your Valentine's Day wedding ideas.
Valentine’s Day is a celebration of love. Not just any love, but love everlasting—the kind you and your spouse-to-be will immortalize in your wedding vows as a couple. Valentine’s Day and weddings are a match made in heaven, just like you and your partner.
Follow the suggestions above, or customize them to better suit your celebration. Whatever you do, know that your Valentine’s Day wedding ideas are all perfectly suited to celebrating your love as a married couple.
And, if you have any wedding planning questions along the way, Zola is here to help. For free wedding websites, a wedding registry, invites, and more, Zola helps turn your valentine into your spouse.